10 Common Signs of Alzheimer’s disease
Most individuals of a certain “old” age begin to experience problems with memory, but some of these, in particular, may not be just age-related. Having random memory lapses is commonly associated with the early onset of Alzheimer’s and therefore, if they persist, they should not be ignored. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s has trouble using their cognitive abilities such as reasoning, thought processing, learning and even communicating.
These issues could become severe in time and affect one’s capability to socialize and work.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s in its early stages
Currently, there is no surefire way of diagnosing Alzheimer’s in its early stages, but you may want to watch out for these ten warning signs in case you know someone at risk and wish to assure they get help as soon as possible.
- Memory loss – forgetting learned information at a certain age is a sign of dementia which impairs a person’s recall capacity.
- Encountering difficulty when performing common/familiar tasks – at some point, having to plan and complete daily tasks will become as difficult as walking for a newborn. The person won’t even be able to feed themselves because they have no idea what to do with utensils and in which order they should use them.
- Language becomes hard to use – Alzheimer’s victims will often forget words and try to substitute them which only makes their speech and writing harder to decipher. They will misplace common words or replace them with ambiguous descriptions such as “the thing for my hair” instead of “hairbrush”.
- Disorientation in time and place – getting lost in the neighborhood in which the victim has lived in for a long time will become common. They won’t remember how they got there or where exactly they are, and the most frightening part is that they won’t know how to get back somewhere safe either.
- Poor judgment skills – an ill person will dress inappropriately in regards to the weather conditions or even do silly things like wear pajamas over street clothes. They will have trouble managing their money or they might just try and give money to all kinds of wrong people. Undeniably, many healthy elders exhibit this but not very often.
- Abstract thinking dissipates – an ill individual will lose the ability to perform complex mental operations such as reverse counting from 100 to 1 or doing basic mathematics.
- Misplacing everything – or simply placing the wrong objects in the wrong places or where objects don’t belong. Be aware of the common misplacing of valuable objects.
- Random mood swings – or uncharacteristic behaviors; a sick person will transit from a peaceful mood to an angry or frightened one in a matter of seconds and for no logical reason. Keep note that during social gatherings and activities, the victim may seem withdrawn or upset.
- Personality changes – sometimes, rather exciting ones occur; if the person was once confident, brave and upbeat, now they might turn into confused, agitated, paranoid or anxious people always in need of comfort. Most healthy elders remain the same as they age even if occasionally they seem a bit different than they were years back.
- Loss of initiative – the victims will become introverted and adopt the passive behavior, watching a screen for hours and not communicating with anyone, not even their family.
They might also sleep more than usual and gradually shy away from activities they once enjoyed. By raising awareness of these early signs, you can help your loved one to be aware of changes in their memory. You can also speak with your health care provider about ways to combat, slow, or adapt to this change.